William Mason, Private 49905, 9th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment
Killed in action 22nd September 1917 in Belgium, aged 38
Son of the late William and Sarah Mason.
More information will be added here when research is complete.
William joined the 7th Cheshire Regiment on 15 December 1915 and was allocated service number 4507. He was later transferred to the 9th Cheshire Regiment and allocated number 49905.
William’s death was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 5 October 1917:
KILLED BY SHELL FIRE – PTE MASON’S DEATH IN THE TRENCHES
News has been received by his sisters, who reside at 51 London Rd, Macclesfield, that Private William Mason, Cheshire Regt, has been killed in action… Second-Lieut A Barty [wrote]: “… your brother, 49905 Pte Mason, Ches Regt, has been killed in action. The sad event occurred on Saturday night, Sept 22nd, whilst he, with others, was at work. A shell fell into the midst of my party and left few of us untouched. I was standing near your brother at the time… He has been buried near the place where he fell…” Pte G H Seel wrote: “…the death of your brother… occurred on Saturday at about ten pm through the bursting of a German shell in the trench where we were. There were several other casualties, and I myself sustained a slight leg wound. Will was one of my best friends and we joined up together at Chester…”
Private Mason was thirty-eight years of age, and as a boy was educated at Sutton St James day school… On leaving he was employed at the Langley Printworks. The deceased soldier was formerly connected with St James’ Church, and at the time of enlistment, eighteen months ago, was engaged by Mr D Hanna, Market Place, Macclesfield. The late Private Mason trained at Oswestry and had been in France about a year.
His nephew, Gunner John W Steele, Royal Field Artillery, was home on furlough during the week, after having been out in France fourteen months. Whilst at the front he was wounded in the chin with shrapnel, and was injured by an iron girder. The gunner is twenty years of age, and prior to joining the Army was in the employ of Mr W H L Cameron, J.P.
Private William Mason has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel Ref. 61 to 63 of the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private William Mason, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
In Macclesfield, Private William Mason is commemorated on the Park Green, Town Hall and St Michael’s Church war memorials, and on St John’s Church Roll of Honour. Nearby, he is commemorated on the Sutton St James School war memorial, located in St James Church Hall, Church Lane, Sutton, near Macclesfield.
Uncle of John W Steele, who served as a Gunner with the Royal Field Artillery and is believed to have survived the war.